Prospect for Palm Oil Trade Expansion in West Africa (With a Special Reference to Nigeria)
by Nor Iskahar Nordin
West Africa is an important market of Malaysian palm oil with more than one million MT of MPO imported into the region in 2014. Although Africa has vast arable land available for palm oil plantation, Africa is still at an infancy stage. Large scale plantations are relatively underdeveloped and many estates are ageing with replanting taking place at a slow rate. Many West African countries have plans to expand and develop oil palm plantations. Buoyed by rising producer prices, strong international demand for vegetable oil and the large demand potential within Africa, several West Africa countries have formulated national programs to encourage both national and foreign investments in new oil palm plantation The region deficit for edible oils which has to be covered by imports is estimated to reach 1 million MT a year and is projected to increase to some 1.5 million tons by 2020. Palm oil is an essential ingredient of African diet and with new oil palm plantations requiring many years before its potential can be fully utilized, Malaysian palm oil exporters have significant role to play to satisfy that demand.
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